ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Court reinstates claim against Branstad

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad and top aides could be held personally liable if a jury decides that they defamed the workers' compensation commissioner and improperly cut his salary during an attempt to force his resignation, the Iow...

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad and top aides could be held personally liable if a jury decides that they defamed the workers’ compensation commissioner and improperly cut his salary during an attempt to force his resignation, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The 5-2 decision means that a lawsuit filed by Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey returns to a lower court for trial. It also sets a new standard that allows state officials to more easily be sued as individuals, which is expected to affect other pending lawsuits involving the Branstad administration. It means they - not taxpayers - will have to cover damages and attorneys’ fees if juries find that they broke the law and were acting outside the scope of their employment.
“I think it’s a victory for all Iowans. It basically says that nobody is above the law - nobody - including the governor,” said Godfrey’s attorney, Roxanne Conlin, adding that she plans to depose Branstad before the November election in which he’s seeking another four-year term.

What To Read Next
The North Dakota Highway Patrol investigated the Wednesday, Jan. 25, crash.
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.